The Drama of the Rite

Worship, Liturgy & Theatre Performance

By Roger Grainger

The Drama of the Rite brings home the dramatic identity of ritual and the religious significance of all kinds of theatre. Historically speaking, religious ritual and theatre appear to have evolved together. But what is the relationship between catharsis and liturgy? How liturgical is theatre and how theatrical is liturgy? Liturgy's purpose is dramatic; like theatre, it is a kinetic medium focusing upon the presence of the other person, whether divine or human. This book explores the characteristics of liturgical experience - concentration, single mindedness, intentionality, emotional catharsis, and, above all, the quality of encounter on which personal environment depends. It is an exploration which leads into the dramatic shape underlying both liturgy and theatre, that of the rite of passage itself. Examples are given of such rites, understood from the point of view of their theatrical nature and purpose. This involves looking at liturgical structure from a point of view which, up to now, has largely been neglected by scholars, although its relevance emerges with striking force, as the drama of the incursion of the divine into human lives. Many have spoken and written of the 'drama of religious ritual' and been content to leave it at that. Roger Grainger takes a clich? and examines the often misunderstood truth it expresses.

113 pages

Publication Date: 1/20/2009
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781845193065